Adeline has been three for a couple of weeks now, and I've got to say I see changes already. She seems more confident and more independent all the time, which sometimes leads to battles of wills, shouts of "I'll do it MYSELF", wailing over not getting her way and generally working through trying to figure out what her power is in the world. But it also leads to her feeling so proud when she is able to do something for herself, so grown-up when she accomplishes something new and so serious when she is given a new responsibility. Adeline is even confident and secure enough that she can stay with her Nana for a few nights which is a big step for her and quite amazing for David and I. Adeline is a strong-willed girl, especially with her Mama, but she is also a daily delight. She is a very joyous child who laughs and sings and dances all through the day. I want to make sure I remember her just exactly as she is at this moment, so I thought I'd write down some things about who Adeline is right now. It will be pretty random, and in list form, so bear with me - there will also be lots of pictures of our ever-growing girl!
Adeline is really social and will make a friend wherever she goes. She loves to be surrounded by other children and she tries to find someone to play with whenever we go out. She talks to just about every grown-up (especially if they have a dog) and if they respond to her then the conversation is on and it usually ends up with her inviting them back to our place. We've started talking about boundaries and strangers and she is shy around some people, but I do enjoy how innocent and open she is. She's just so curious about the world and talking to people is one way for her to learn all about it!
Adeline is very compassionate and kind and when there are little ones around she is very careful and very thoughtful. When someone in her family is sick she wants to take care of them by bringing them blankets, letting them hug her favourite stuffies, bringing them books and magazines and telling them to rest on the couch.
Adeline talks really well and people are often surprised to hear such great conversation coming out of such a small person. She does have a few mispronunciations that I just can't bear to correct as they are so cute, such as "I wear a bathering suit to the pool". She also says "pomato" for both potatoes and tomatoes. We've tried to correct that one, but have given up for now.
Adeline has a quiet talking voice, but a HUGE laugh and an ear-piercing happy squeal.
Adeline is still a small person - in the 5th percentile. She's getting taller, but still weighs about the same as she did pretty well a year ago. She is strong and healthy so we don't worry about it.
After years of eating anything put in front of her and large quantities of it, Adeline has discovered the power of "I don't like that" (usually said about something she's eaten hundreds of times). We don't make a big deal out of it and tell her that she DOES like it, but she doesn't want to eat it today and that's okay, she can have it next time. She still eats lots of protein and milk and veggies and as much fruit as she can hold, so we don't worry about it.
Adeline still loves music. She LITERALLY sings all day long sometimes. It's like living in a musical as she sings her thoughts and narrates what she's doing in song all day. Sometimes she puts new words to tunes she knows, but often she's making up her own music too. I wish I could get it on video, but as soon as the camera is on she clams up. Her favourite real songs to sing are "Baby Beluga" and "John the Rabbit". Adeline enjoys classical music and can pick out many of the instruments as she hears them, such as violin, piano, clarinet, trumpet and glockenspiel. She REALLY likes saying "glockenspiel" and thinks we should get one. Adeline is convinced that when she gets bigger she's going to learn to play the violin. Her friend Jenna plays already and let Adeline try out her violin and it was a really big deal to Adeline. Adeline also seems to have a real affinity for opera, which was apparent from when she was a baby. We would listen to the classical station in the mornings and even as a seven month old, when opera would come on she would stop everything and just intently listen.
Adeline is a great sleeper, which is something I never thought I would say! She is still a happy napper for about 2 hours a day and she sleeps through the night every night in her very own bed after falling asleep by herself after book time. Yay!
Adeline's favourite books right now are "Stop that Pickle", "Bob", "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" and the Richard Scarry "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go". She really only wants to read books that make her laugh and has no interest in any of those "message" books.
Adeline knows her letters and a few of the sounds they make but I'm not pushing reading at all. She will likely read before kindergarten though as she is motivated and interested and she loves books.
Adeline can finally count! It was a long time coming. Or maybe not...I'm not sure when children should be able to really count.
Adeline has started drawing representationally, but she often finds it quite frustrating as it doesn't look like she wants it to look. I'm conflicted as she really wants me to teach her how to draw, but my thought is that if I provide a model and try and teach her she will never be able to develop her own style and she will negatively compare my drawings to her own. But as it stands she doesn't want to draw at all, because she says she doesn't know how and she is frustrated by what she produces. Adeline has perfectionist tendencies and I think these are going to be a challenge for her as she grows up.
Adeline loves to help, especially with cooking, fixing things and garden chores. She's pretty good at tidying up, but she often doesn't want to do it, because what looks like a big mess to me is actually some very organized play which she doesn't want to be disturbed.
Adeline loves to play pretend with little animal figures, she is increasingly into taking care of her baby dolls, she loves cutting with scissors, using playdough and doing puzzles. She is a pretty impressive puzzler and can take on a twenty piece puzzle with no problem.
Adeline seems to be needing Elephant more often these days. He was always necessary for bedtime, but now he needs to come in the car with us and she carries him around the house more often. I need to sew her a little baby carrier so she can stop stretching out all her shirts by stuffing Elephant or her babies into them!
Three is going to be BIG for Adeline and for her Mama too. Starting in September Adeline will be doing swimming and music and art classes without me right there with her and if we can get that stubborn, stubborn girl to pee in the toilet then she will be attending preschool two mornings a week. Where has my baby gone??? Adeline will be taking such big steps out into the world this year and while I know she's ready and eager, I still have a pang of wanting to keep her all to myself for just a little longer. But you can't stop progress, and I know Adeline is going to just blossom with the company of other children, with forming relationships with new grown-ups and by learning many new things. I KNOW it's just a couple of hours a week, really, but it seems like this is the last step before kindergarten and it just seems like it happened so fast...